The truth is, if you’re doing a lot of business, someday someone will provide negative or poor feedback to you. It’s bound to happen. In fact, if it never happens you may not be reaching as many people as you can with your solutions. Even though it hurts to get poor feedback, it can actually help your business grow.
Don’t Get Defensive
There is no doubt that negative feedback can be upsetting and demoralizing. However, it’s imperative that you put the feedback in the right context before you let yourself get defensive. Most of the time, a defensive posture happens because you believe the feedback.
Don’t Ignore It (with One Caveat)
When you get negative feedback, you shouldn’t ignore it - with one exception. If the feedback is a spammy attack, you’re best off just deleting it (if possible) or ignoring it. But if there is any validity to the complaint at all, even if it’s not correct, don’t ignore it. Instead, use the information to improve your process.
Avoid Online Verbal Wars
It’s tempting to attack people back when they dis you online in a forum or message board - or worse, on Twitter and Facebook. But the truth is, this is not going to solve anything. Respond kindly, giving them a way to deal with you in private to resolve the situation, and let others know where they can get help if they have the same issue too.
Deal with It as Privately as Possible
If you can take the discussion privately, that’s the best option. However, remember that today, private may not stay private. Pretend you’re in public even when you’re dealing with them in private so that you can avoid any more embarrassment.
Be Open, Honest, and Transparent
Even if you’re wrong, keep it real. You don’t want to be caught hiding information that is important if a complaint has been taken public. You’ll want to admit to mistakes, show how you’re going to fix it, and then move on.
Promote Positive Images of Your Business
Meanwhile, as you are dealing with the poor feedback and if it’s public, work toward getting out more positive information and content. Blog more about successes and show a more positive side of your business so that people who are noticing the issue will also see the good that you do.
Whenever someone has feedback for you, it’s essential that you listen very carefully. If someone is upset, they tend to get more emotional and use hurtful words and phrasing. Try to let that go and listen to the meaning of the words regarding the things you have power over. If it’s written, you can take out all the words from the complaint that aren’t useful so you can focus on fixing the real issue.
Be Open to Change
If poor feedback is a one-time thing, you may not need to change anything. But if you notice more than one person complaining about the same issue, be open to changing how you are doing something in order to improve.
Dealing with poor feedback might feel intimidating sometimes, but you can get through it if you have a plan in place before it happens. Consider the types of feedback that might hurt your business and then do everything you can to avoid it happening. And if it does happen, deal with it openly, honestly, and transparently as soon as possible.